COVID-19 Steals Christmas As More Lapland Santa Trips Cancelled Or Under Review
TUI is the latest UK tour operator to review its program of Christmas holidays to the arctic region of Lapland for this winter.
October 21st, 2020 - TUI's announcement follows moves by other tour operators to cancel 2020 holidays including Santa’s Lapland, Santa Claus Trips, Newmarket Holidays and Regent Travel. Lapland, and Finland in particular, has been a fast-growing winter holiday destination in recent years with numerous UK based operators offering Santa Christmas experiences as well as winter activity breaks and Northern Lights holidays.
Due to the continuing uncertainty around travel to Lapland, TUI is offering customers the opportunity to move their holidays to next winter free of charge. Operators report that between 70% and 80% of customers have already rescheduled their holidays to next year.
“We know how magical a trip to Lapland is and we are working through the finer details of how we can operate our trips in a Covid-safe way, and in line with Finnish government guidelines. We’d like to reassure our customers that Lapland holidays will only go ahead if we believe they will be enjoyable. We’ll provide more information once it is available.” TUI Company Statement
However, new entry rules for Finland have provided a glimmer of hope to some operators. The new rules allow UK visitors to travel to the country for up to 72 hours without having to quarantine on arrival, provided they have a negative Covid test up to 72 hours prior to arrival. This allows the opportunity for some private, tailor-made trips to go ahead without the need for quarantine at either end.
Some travel commentators have expressed doubts over the viability of running trips based around the new entry rules due to potential difficulties of obtaining Covid tests over the Christmas and New Year period combined with the constraints of the 72-hour window.
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Karl Sigurdsson - Senior Contributor
Karl is a senior contributor at TravelIndustryReporter.com and knows the European travel industry inside out. Karl is a freelance travel writer specialising in the European market. Karl studied at both Stockholm University and Reading University.
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